The time has come to put the whelping supplies away, put away all the play area toys, and finish up the paperwork for each litter, Everything has been cleaned and packed away for the next litter.
It’s always lots of work when you have two litters as close together as we did. But the excitement of ‘having puppies’ is so strong that one doesn’t seem to remember all the bumps in the road.
Katie’s was a great mom. Her delivery was normal and she took such good care of her puppies.
Emma’s puppies, however, were so small that they scared me. How do I take care of such small puppies. As the vets kept telling us, they were healthy!!
All of the puppies have gone to great homes with great people. Some went to homes with adults while some went to homes with children. Each and everyone of these new parents took home wonderful puppies to love.
Now that all the puppies have gone to their new homes, I look back at having two litters and think ‘it wasn’t that bad’ with a smile. I talk about the puppies as if there wasn’t ever a concern. I look at pictures and see happy, healthy puppies!
As I put things away, I am truly thankful that God gave me my love of animals and the ability to ‘just do what needs done’. No matter what I get on my hands, it will wash off. Whatever I get on my clothes, it will wash out. Whatever I get on my face will be washed off by the happy or sad tears I shed.
Katie and Emma did the very best job they could to start these puppies off on the right path. They nurtured, cleaned, and fed their babies 24/7. When they weaned their puppies, Mark, and I not only cleaned and fed these beautiful puppies but it was our responsibility to prepare them for their new lives.
Now it is YOUR turn. YOU must continue rearing these puppies, supplying lots of love and TLC. You are ready to use instinct and the tools you have gained over the years to allow these puppies to grow into healthy, happy adult dogs.
Most important, ENJOY YOUR PUPPIES as they won’t be little long. I anticipate they will weigh about 50 pounds by 6 months.
Mark and I would like to thank you for trusting us to provide a puppy for you to love. It has been our pleasure meeting and getting to know each of you.
We want to extend a big thank you to everyone who called, sent an e-mail, said a prayer for Emma’s ‘triplets’.
A very big thank you goes to Dr. Melody Kaliff and all the staff at Animal Clinic Suburban for the exceptional care they gave both moms and puppies. What an amazing vet you are!
Happy July 4th to everyone! Hope you all celebrated American’s independence!!
The past few days were filled with excitement as three puppies went home.
On Thursday, Jarred and Sara (and Sara’s sister) picked up DK BLUE who is now Parker. We let Parker play in the play area while we went over paperwork. Being 2 weeks older, Parker is more mature than ‘the triplets’.
On Sunday, Tom, Becky, Josh, and Ben picked up PINK who now is Lucy. They fell in love with her when they visited last weekend. Lucy will join their first lab from Dusty Road Labradors, Charlie Brown. Charlie’s collar was BROWN. It was a surprise to us how much their boys had grown. We know Lucy will have a great home!
On Monday, Joan and Frances picked up LAVENDAR who now is Millie. Joan and I have talked on the phone and exchanged several e-mails so it felt like we’ve known each other for years. Joan was taken with emotions seeing LAVENDAR for the first time and holding the puppy she had been waiting for since May 7. We wish Joan and Millie much success in their training and preparing to be a certified therapy dog.
The final puppy selections have been made. We hope everyone is happy with their new puppies they will be picking up in a few days.
Katie’s DK BLUE is going to Jarred and Sara. She will go home on Thursday.
Emma’s PINK is going to repeat buyers Tom, Becky, Josh, and Ben. She will go home on Sunday.
Emma’s LAVENDAR is going to Joan to be a therapy dog. She will go home next Monday possibly sooner.
Emma’s Yellow is staying here at Dusty Road Labradors.
DK BLUE will be a wonderful family pet. We feel YELLOW has more of the qualities of a show/breeding dog. This was a tough decision because we REALLY love DK BLUE. We know Jarred and Sara will be great parents to DK BLUE.
Thank you to all of you who patiently let the selection process work. Things would be quicker if these little puppies got their personalities about 4 weeks of age instead of 6 weeks of age.
We begin the count down to all the puppies going to their new homes. Today we are taking the puppies to Dori’s to evaluate Katie’s DK. BLUE and Emma’s YELLOW and PURPLE. The decision will be made as to which puppy we are keeping. Those on the list will know shortly which puppy they will be taking home. One puppy will go home on Thursday evening, one Sunday, and the final puppy will head to Minnesota on Monday.
Previous puppy buyers Tom and Becky and their sons visited on Saturday. Their male at home wore a BROWN collar. They bought BROWN and surprised the boys. The boys were not aware of the surprise Mom and Dad had been working on. BROWN is named Charlie Brown. Whichever little girl they receive (and I know their first pick!!!) will be called Lucy.
We are very impressed with Emma’s triplets. Their personalities are calm and quiet, and they love to cuddle. They are receiving their final worming before going to their new homes. They are eating three times a day. We are soaking their food for about 15 minutes before feeding them. Those little white teeth are chewing up the food just fine.
They enjoy playing in the play yard but the activity is much calmer with 3 puppies than 8 puppies.
Today we took Emma’s three puppies to see Dr. Nelson in Dr. Kaliff’s absence. I have worried quite a bit about these beautiful little girls. Would being born so little make them be ‘miniature labs’? — NO Would they be behind in development? — NO Will they be ready to go to their new homes at 8 weeks? — YES Should we keep and of them longer? — NO
Dr. Nelson gave all three puppies a thorough exam finding healthy, socialized puppies. Their weights are just about the same as Katie’s larger pups at 6 weeks old. I was told they are on track and ready to go home at 8 weeks.
I know this has been a slow process of picking our puppy. We will be comparing YELLOW female with DARK BLUE female keeping only one puppy. We will evaluate on Monday and everyone will take a puppy home on the weekend.
We set the alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual to get ready to send four puppies home today. Their area wasn’t quite so messy and did take a little less time to clean but 5 puppies still make quite a mess.
First up is Bill and Linda. We met Bill and Linda just about a year ago. Their vet at Animal Clinic Suburban told them about us and they came to visit the litter we had at that time. This was a very special visit for us. We are used to kids and grandkids but they brought Bill’s Mom and Dad who were 12.857 years old in dog years. My first thought was if they would enjoy seeing puppies and visiting. No worry — they laughed and enjoyed seeing the puppies play in the play yard. Bill’s Dad told stories that kept you in stitches. Thanks for allowing us to share an afternoon with your parents!
Bill and Linda chose LIGHT BLUE and her name is now Abby. Abby will go live with a 4-legged brother.
Next is Jeanne and Ray. They are #1 male pick and will be taking ORANGE home with them. His name is now Panzer. Jeanne was a patient of a doctor who had bought a puppy HARVEY a couple of years ago. During an appointment, the conversation turned to labs. Well Greg showed a video of HARVEY to Jeanne and she called as soon as she got home to get on our list. Jeanne was bit by the ‘puppy bug’ and now is taking Panzer home thanks to Greg’s video.
We had a short break before Amanda and Craig arrived. They are taking home PURPLE female who now is Daisy May. We feel PURPLE will be a good addition to their growing family of 3 1/2 kids. When the family visited, all the kids were excited with the puppies. In fact, their youngest boy loved playing with the puppy play station and toys! Amanda wrote later that Daisy May slept most of the trip home.
Last but not least is Beth. Beth is picking up PINK female who she has named Echo. PINK female is unique as she is a mismarked lab. She has two patches of black hair — yes black hair — on her back. When we went to Dr. Kaliff, we thought it was newspaper ink and I apologized for not having taken the time to clean her up. Dr. Kaliff told us it wasn’t newspaper ink. Beth is thrilled to have Echo to be her companion dog.
Our job now is to transfer DARK BLUE to the house and the 3 puppies to the barn but we are just dog tired. After a short nap, we were regenerated and got the transfer made.
Today two more puppies are going home. Two more puppies to bath and get ready to meet their new parents.
Ken and Lisa are first. When it was their turn to pick #2 male puppy, Lisa called and asked if they could pick when they picked up their puppy. Upon posting new pictures of RED and GREEN, remaining two males, Lisa called and they had made their decision. They would be taking RED home. Lisa knew RED was ‘their’ puppy! RED will now be Ranger. He will be joining a big brother with 4 legs.
Next is Brooke and Jeffry to pick up #3 male puppy. When I called Brooke that they would be taking GREEN home, she was thrilled saying ‘that’s the puppy we wanted!”. Brooke and Jeffry will be helped with GREEN by Jeffry’s parents. It always helps when others are around for noon feeding or a quick potty break!
Today our first puppy goes home. Today Tom and Linda, along with their granddaughter, are picking up BROWN female. They wanted the calmest puppy and I hope BROWN will fill their hearts with joy.
Let’s talk about Puppy Safety. Our Emma was hurt as a young puppy playing with her Dad (90#). Conrad is gentle but we have seen him roll Emma and thump her on the rump with one of his large paws. She always jumped to her feet going back for more fun.
The limp didn’t improve so at 6 months of age Emma was diagnosed with bilateral cruciate ligament avulsions. Bilateral means both knees were affected and both knees need surgery to repair the cranial cruciate ligament.
Watch children as they hold your puppy. NEVER let them walk and carry the puppy unless you know they are old enough to do this. A dropped puppy will make everyone shed a few tears and could possibly hurt the puppy.
We always travel in the car with our dogs in the black wire crates. Once I tried to let Pippa sit up with me on the way to a Therapy Dog appointment. She was a nervous wreck by they time we reached the school. She rode home in the crate. I’ve never attempted this again. If you are going to travel with your puppy loose in the car, please give some thought to what will happen and where your puppy will land if you need to put on the brakes in a hurry or swerve. I don’t think you can call an ambulance for your puppy!
When you leave a collar on your puppy, make sure the area he/she are in doesn’t have anything that can catch the collar. This is particularly a problem when you have a choke collar on your puppy.
Your puppy will investigate and chews on everything he finds. This includes a bucket of water that he could fall into and not get out, your iron cord that is plugged in, and something so simple as a bag of trash. Check your houseplants to make sure they are not toxic to dogs. Barbie dolls and socks are puppy favorites.
Let’s talk about pet insurance. If you are like Mark and me, we thought pet insurance was for those rich people. Well it’s for everyone who wants to have financial help with medical bills. Our insurance on Maggie will expire the end of the month. Her renewal is $275 next year. This is $10,000 coverage with $350 deductible and 80% pay.
Last year Pippa, Conrad, and pup named Mona all had surgery. Pippa also was treated for Lepto. One girl had a c-section involving the Urgent Care Vet to take care of . She spend 3 days at Dr. Kaliff’s office and 3 nights at Urgent Care. Last year we won $100 for being the clinics’ best customer. We NEVER want to have that title again!!!
If we had pet insurance on any of the four dogs, we would be money ahead. Please consider Pet Insurance as the benefits are wonderful during a bad time.
Our insurance is thru Pet Plan. There are many others out there to choose from. Do not buy insurance where you have to go to one facility. Get insurance that covers even when you are in vacation.
As we prepare for Katie’s puppies to go to their new homes, we have scheduled all the pickup times. If I have you down for the wrong time, please let me know. Thursday, June 15: 11:00 Linda and Tom will pick up Brown female; Friday, June 16: 11:00 Ken and Lisa will pickup Ranger (Red male) and 12:30 Brooke and Jeffrey will pick up Green male. Saturday, June 17: 10:30 Bill and Linda will pickup Abby (Lt. Blue female), 12:00 Jean and Ray will pick up Panzer (Orange male), 3:30 to 4:00 Amanda will pickup Purple female, and 5:00 Beth will pick up Echo (Pink female).
Don’t forget a towel or two if you are going to hold your puppy on your lap. The puppies have had two car rides with no one getting sick. For those of you driving a ways home, please bring bottled water in case your puppy needs a drink. I don’t think I would feed them on the road for fear of getting car sick.
If you have to potty your puppy, go to an out of the way area where other dogs haven’t been. We just heard that canine flu is in the area. It has been responsible for several deaths. Also parvo and lepto bacteria are around and are bacteria you don’t want your puppy to come in contact with.
Emma’s puppies are playing in their water and don’t seem to get full. They are getting fed 1 cup four times a day and there is nothing left!! They are playing more and sleeping a bit less. Here are pictures of Emma’s puppies:
The female puppies have all been selected. PINK – Beth; Lt BLUE – Bill and Linda; BROWN – Tom and Linda; PURPLE – Amanda and family; and Dk BLUE – us. We are happy with the puppy selections and feel the puppies have been chosen for the right homes.
Today Dori Lenaeus of Blue Heaven Labradors, Keeper’s owner, stopped to see the puppies. It’s always good to have someone with 30 years of labrador breeding experience to look at the puppies of a 10-year breeder. Dori was pleased with the puppies. We both picked Dk BLUE as the female to keep from Katie’s litter.
The trio is eating 4 times a day with Emma nursing once a day. She is just about done nursing but once a day is good for her and her puppies. They received their 3rd worming at 5 weeks. They have a new area divided like the other puppies area. They are doing great pooping on the newspapers in one end and playing in the other.
Let’s talk about training. You can start training your puppy as soon as it comes home. Honestly, everything you do with your puppy is training.
Your puppy has been imprinted. This is a process of desensitizing by touch. We feel this prepares a puppy for the stimulation he will encounter in the next few months of his life. I wish I could say imprinting skips the puppy stages of chewing, nipping, pottying whenever and wherever, etc., but it doesn’t. Your puppy will be a puppy!
For instance, your puppy has had a velcro collar on since he was just days old. This has prepared him to wear other collars. Your puppies’ feet have been desensitized which makes nail trims less scary for him.
We suggest you attend a puppy obedience class after ALL vaccinations have been received. This is usually about 16 weeks of age. But, in the meantime, there is lots you can do in your own living room. Now is the time to introduce your puppy to leash training, the command ‘come’, the command ‘sit’, and the word NO. During your training sessions, you will identify what makes your dog tick. It may be treats, it may be verbal praise, or it may be touch praise.
The more time you spend with your puppy in the first few weeks will pay off when the puppy is going thru it’s ‘terrible two’s’ or ‘teenage years’. The bond you build now will last forever.
We suggest you read or even get a copy of Puppy Kindergarten (A well-mannered dog) – March, 2001 by Miriam Fields-Babineau. It is available on Amazon for around $5.00. This book has lots of practical training information and is well written for the dog owner.
Training sessions should be no more than 5 minutes in length as puppies cannot concentrate longer than 5 minutes. You can train your puppy several times a day if you wish. Remember — your puppy will thrive with love, patience, and praise!
The first male selection has been made. Jeanne and Ray have chosen ORANGE for their new family member. We are working to set up pickup times and dates.
You may take your puppy home on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. We want you to be able to spend as much time with your puppy as you can on the weekend. We know it is Father’s Day so we will be very accommodating to getting everyone on their way home as soon as possible.
Emma’s puppies are doing so well that it’s hard to remember all the problems we had in the beginning. Emma is still nursing her puppies and cleaning up after them. As long as she is willing to clean up after the puppies, it safes me lots of time.
Today we are putting the whelping box away. We will set up an area with a potty area here in the mudroom.
All of the puppies will be wormed this weekend. Katie’s puppies will receive their last worming from us. Emma’s puppies will have one more worming after the worming this weekend.
What a great weekend we have had. We had visitors on Saturday. Puppy buyer Brooke and family visited to look at the males. I had to check their purses when they left because they liked all three of the males!!!
Daughter Stacey and kids stopped by for a ‘puppy fix’.
Mark and I put the puppies in the play area when Brooke visited. We added a wobble-board which is puppy size and interactive toys.
We started feeding the puppies 3 times a day. Hopefully, they will be ok with 2 feedings a day when they go home.
Our vet visit went excellent. Dr. Kaliff was pleased with all of the puppies. They received a thorough exam and all passed with flying colors. Each puppy will receive a puppy packet from Dr. Kaliff including a heart worm prevention to be given on July 1, 2017.
A previous puppy was at the vet also so we got to see Harvey owned by Greg out of Sera and Conrad. What a handsome boy! Claire was rehomed to Amy and she had been there earlier in the day. Claire is Emma’s mom.
Today we had more puppy buyers here to see the puppies. Linda and Bill are picking a female puppy. To help with their selection, Bill took lots and lots of pictures. With his permission, I am posting the link to his pictures. Enjoy!!
Emma’s puppies are now on all fours and walking around the whelping box. They have started eating 4 times a day. Hard to believe Katie’s puppies were ever that small.
I can’t believe it is already June! I also can’t believe that Katie’s 8 beauties will be 6 weeks old this weekend!!
Tomorrow Katie’s puppies will go to Dr. Kaliff for their thorough puppy exam and first vaccination. The office is ready for us with lots of time allocated and puppy packets for all. We will take 2 kennels and divide the puppies. This helps Mark lift the kennel out of the van when we get there.
The puppies are 100% going to the papered area to potty. We no longer have messes in the heating area. Sure helps cleaning up after the group.
We completely strip down the potty area every morning. We pick up poop and lay another layer of papers the other 3 times. The puppies are still eating 4 times a day. We will start reducing to 3 times a day next week.
We put the play area together this morning. Tonight they will spend a little time in their checking out all the activities.
Emma’s trio are doing fantastic. They are little bundles of fur! They are playing and getting very steady on their feet. Emma is becoming comfortable out of the whelping box and enjoys her time with Pippa outside.
Happy Memorial Weekend to everyone! For those traveling, stay safe; for those of us staying home, don’t work too hard!!! We have a busy puppy weekend planned. All of the puppies are completing their 3-day worming. We also are setting up the play area at the barn for Katie’s puppies.
Katie’s puppies are becoming comedians. They run around chasing each other, bite their siblings’ tails, steal toys, share toys, and do something between running and skipping. They will be 5 weeks old tomorrow. They are going to Dr. Kaliff on Friday for their exam and vaccination. Later this week we plan to get them outside in the sunshine.
As we’ve talked before, their personalities are starting to be seen. We are spending individual time with each of them during the day. They already love to cuddle!!
The half-pints are becoming pudgy puppies. They are up on all fours and walking around the whelping box. No speed yet but they are working on it!!! Emma has become such a good mom and loves her puppies.
Didn’t realize I haven’t added to the blog in quite a few days. Sorry. Both litters are doing well. The work has increased tremendously!
Let me tell you about Katie’s litter. On Saturday we changed the puppy area to a much bigger area. We divided it with a PVC pipe. One side is the potty area and the other side is their playing and eating area. They did very well the remainder of Saturday and Sunday.
This morning we soon realized we needed two area for play and one bit larger area for their potty area. They now have the entire 8’x8′ area. 1/3 is potty area and 2/3 is play and eating area. During the day we are seeing more potty in the potty area and this will continue to improve. This is the beginning of potty training.
All of Katie’s litter are over 5# many heading quickly to 6#. They are being fed 4 times a day. I measured their meals and they are about 5 cups of puppy food, formula, and water mixed in a soft gruel consistency. 5 cups sounds like a lot but it divides down to about 2/3 of a cup each. Some will get a bit more and some a bit less. Katie is no longer nursing so they are completely on gruel.
Their teeth are in!!! Now that I am ‘in their space’ so much, they have found my socks, shoes, shoe strings, and pant legs. They do make it hard to carefully move around the space with one or two puppies hanging onto my pant legs….just part of the daily routine!!!
Emma’s girls are gaining and starting to stand up on all fours. They wiggle and try to move but their little legs fold under them. Up again to try again! They are getting really fun to watch. They have their eyes open and the pigment is in their nose and paws. In no way do they look like the thin puppies we had 2 weeks ago.
The puppies have had their nails trimmed and were wormed at 2 weeks of age. Their next worming will be at 3 weeks of age.
Emma is being a wonderful mom. She is very protective of her puppies but will let Pippa walk by the puppies going out and in the back door.
Hope everyone has survived the storms we’ve had last night and today. While I was making supper tonight, Mark called me outside. There were two beautiful rainbows. I quickly got my camera and took a picture of the inside rainbow. We are always thankful when we have bad weather with no destruction.
We have been letting Katie in with the puppies once a day. She will nurse under duress but is more interested in cleaning up after them. It sure helps me!!! Suppertime was Katie’s time to nurse the puppies today. We then fed the puppies their gruel. You can see how the area looked after their meal. Just like feeding toddlers…and then they took a nap!!
Emma’s half pints are continuing to gain weight. I had planned on talking to Dr. Kaliff but we noticed Emma had some drainage that needed checked out. Where Emma goes, her 3 little girls go too. Dr. Kaliff was very happy with the puppies. Their weight was good, they were squirming and doing other things ‘age appropriate’. Dr. Kaliff also checked for umbilical hernias and cleft pallets. None were found. She gave the puppies a clean bill of health and she has no concerns about them growing into normal size, healthy adult dogs.
While puppies sleep, they move, they jerk, and they sometimes make noises. I caught Pink deep in sleep. It looked like she was doing exercises. She would bring both front and back legs up until they almost touched. Then she would lower them down. This went on for quite a few minutes. Some say they are growing, some say they are ‘chasing rabbits’!
I hope all you Moms out there had a wonderful day yesterday! We celebrated Mother’s Day Saturday with my Mom and my two daughters. Yesterday Mark and I paid some special attention to Katie and Emma and the pups.
Katie’s puppies are all like little polar bears. We have started feeding her puppies 4 times a day. She has been a good mom but she doesn’t have enough milk for all of them. She still wants in after we feed or clean the area. It’s like she is checking on them and then she lays quietly away from them.
When the puppies are thru lapping their formula/mush, I sit down and they come over to be loved on. They are inquisitive and the playing with other is just starting.
We have changed the whelping pads for newspapers. Katie is still cleaning them. This really helps me now that I am on cleaning/feeding duty 4 times a day.
The puppies turned 3 weeks yesterday. They were all wormed again at 3 weeks. Next worming is at 5 weeks.
Emma’s little half pints are doing fantastic!!! All three are over 1#. You will see by the pictures that they look like every other puppy. They are scooting around the whelping box and let out occasional squeals when mom is giving them a bath or they just want to nurse.
We will probably never know why these puppies were half the weight of other puppies. We have had great support from Dr. Kaliff assuring us these little girls are going to be fine. Dr. Kaliff went thru the rearing of 2 10-ounce runts with us. We have seen both of these ‘runts’ and they are gorgeous full size dogs.
At this time, we have not offered these 3 puppies. I will be talking to Dr. Kaliff tomorrow for the go ahead to offer these girls.
Katie’s puppies starting having a little puppy formula today. We are noticing Katie just can’t keep up with all 8 puppies needing lots of milk to grow. Once the puppy teeth erupt, Katie will not want to nurse 8 puppies with sharp teeth!
When the puppies first start nursing, they are in a neat, tidy line. As the faucets are emptied, they check out the faucets to their left and then right. If they can’t find any milk, the will climb over the others checking out milk supply the entire time.
This weekend they will receive their 2nd worming. Weights are still being taken once a day.
The puppies are starting to respond to voice. When I enter the room and I tell them hello, they all turn their heads towards me. They are all bright eyed with their tails wagging as I reach over the fence to pet them. They are impatient to wait their turn.
I’m working on taking individual pictures and possibly a video. This week has been preoccupied by Emma’s puppies.
We are saddened that we lost Emma’s male puppy. He was not gaining weight so we took him away from Emma. We had him in a warm box and fed him every 3 hours. We wonder if Emma knew there was something wrong. She was constantly licking and nudging him as to tell him to nurse more or stay close to keep warm.
The remaining 3 females are doing great. One weighed in this morning at 1 pound. WOW, what a good feeling to see these girls gaining weight. They look like healthy puppies finally.
We are cautiously optimistic that they are out of the woods. We have not offered puppies yet but plan to early next week. We have been in contact Dr. Kaliff each day discussing the puppies. The first thing she asks is if they are gaining weight. Since they are gaining weight, that is an easy question.
Katie’s puppies are growing like weeds. They are walking around their whelping area which Mark has made the walls that protect them from getting out about 5 PVS pipes high. You will see in one picture a puppy trying to crawl up on the pig rail. Won’t be long until they have the entire front area.
They all got their toe nails trimmed again today. I spent quite a bit of time loving each of them. They are all over 3 pounds. Katie is nursing well but I noticed there are puppy teeth erupting. This is usually a determining factor in mom weaning her puppies. We will start feeding the puppies this weekend to help this transition from Katie to gruel.
We are having quite a time with Emma. Some mothers are naturals but Emma isn’t. She has a 4×4 whelping box with a large heater in it to keep the puppies warm. We have a curtain across the door from the kitchen to the mudroom. We think she has a pretty good set up but she isn’t happy. She continues to move her puppies to behind the whelping box by the back door. We put an extra rail on the whelping box to deter her jumping out.
All four of the puppies are gaining weight. The male puppy isn’t gaining as well and Emma likes to carry him making him a drolly puppy. I’m keeping him separate for a few days to help him keep warm and have regular feedings.
Due to the puppies being small and fragile, we will not be removing the dew claws. If they had been normal weight, we would have removed the dew claws between day 3 and 5.
We have been in contact with Dr. Kaliff at least twice a day since the puppies were born. I have to admit that Emma’s puppies really shocked us but we are doing fine taking care of these little angels.
I ask if anyone has questions or things I can cover in the blog. One person asked how we take care of the two litters. This is our 2nd or 3rd time of having 2 litters at one time. It’s much easier when there aren’t problems but that isn’t the typical litter of puppies.
Emma’s mom had Emma’s litter at the same time another mom delivered. The other mom delivered about day 58 which is considered preemie. We lost 4 out of 7 puppies. The remaining 3 puppies grew at different rates with one becoming the size of Emma’s litter. We did an experiment and swapped the smallest of Emma’s litter for the big puppy of the other litter. This time is was advantageous to have 2 litters. One thing is true…we always say we will never have 2 litters at the same time. Mother nature doesn’t help at all. When one female comes into heat, the others come in also. We could have had 3 litters!!!
The first 72 hours are critical and even a 1# puppy is small. Next is the next 2 weeks. During the first week Mark is my right hand man while I imprint, trim nails, weigh daily, check mom. After that, Mark does a lot with the puppies. Kinda like some people don’t like to hold newborn human babies.
While I’m caring for Emma’s litter, Mark is taking care of Katie and her pups. He is weighing them and sharing what he sees with me. We do puppy wormings together double checking weights and dosage of worming meds.
Mark and I work well together if it’s doing lawn work or raising puppies. Our expectations of each litter are the same so our ways of doing things doesn’t change without discussion.
It was a busy weekend for Mark and me!!! I’ll start with Katie. Katie and puppies were moved to the nursery on Saturday after Emma’s temperature dropped. I led Katie as Mark carried a box of babies weighing almost 25 pounds.
Katie’s puppies have a much bigger area which will grow into a much larger area as they grow. These puppies are HUGE compared to Emma’s new puppies.
Today Katie’s puppies and Katie will be wormed. The puppies eyes are opening and they now hear things. I will start playing sounds and nursery rhymes for the puppies. This is part of our imprinting/desensitizing program.
I’m going to combine the blogs for both litters of puppies. I will add pictures after each update.
I write my blogs from my heart to share with you the first 8 weeks of your puppys’ life but also to share that having puppies can be the best of times but sometimes the worst of times. Emma’s litter was the best and the worst of times.
Emma is the first homegrown female we kept to have puppies. Emma is a Conrad and Claire daughter. Claire has since been retired and placed in a wonderful home. Emma is such a wonderful gal that I guess my expectations were very high for this litter.
Emma went into labor on Saturday. The first puppy arrived at 10:50 am and the last puppy arrived at 2:50 pm on Sunday. It was a long day as we waited for these puppies. The first puppy was stillborn, our only black female puppy. There were no other black puppies which was very disappointing.
The next 4 yellow puppies born are 1 male puppy and 3 female puppies. Another shock came when we first saw these puppies. We thought ‘how small’ the puppies were. Our thoughts were correct. Our puppies are usually right at 16 ounces. This entire litter ranged from 7 ounces to 10 ounces. Although they are small, they all nursed as soon as they were born. That’s the best of times.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, we thought there were 6 puppies. Because labor and contractions stopped, a call was made to Urgent Care. If there was a remaining puppy, it had to be removed thru labor or c-section. Another best of times, there was not another puppy which meant no c-section.
When we got home, Emma nursed the puppies again. I slept in the kitchen and responded to Emma’s every need. She would cry when they got too far from her as if saying come back here. I would wrangle them back to her and put them on her to nurse. Sometimes I would hear a puppy crying that he was on her backside when she rearranged herself. Sometimes I could feel the frustration that Emma was having keeping track of these four puppies. What would she have done with 8 or more puppies???
Sometimes Emma wraps her paws around the puppies as if to tell me ‘these are mine and I can take care of them’!
The best of things would have been to have enough puppies for everyone on my list. The absolute worst of times is not having enough puppies and having to disappoint each of you. Some have been on the list for quite a while, some not so long. Some of you were buying your first puppy while many of you were adding to your family. No matter the reason you were on our list, we are sincerely sorry that you won’t be getting a puppy.
Katie’s puppies are 11 days old. I checked their weights today with their birth weights and they all have doubled their weights as expected. Here are birth and today’s weights: Dk Blue Female: 15 ounces/2 pounds 5 ounces; Pink Female: 15 ounces/2 pounds 9 ounces; Lavender Female: 15 ounces/2 pounds 3 ounces; Brown Female: 13 ounces/2 pounds 2 ounces; Lt Blue Female: 12 ounces/2 pounds 5 ounces; Green Male: 17 ounces/2 pounds 7 ounces; Red Male: 15 ounces/2 pounds 6 ounces; and Orange Male: 15 ounces/2 pounds 8 ounces. We are weighing twice a day and will continue until they are 3 weeks old.
I recommend you order this book to help you with your puppy. It is PUPPY KINDERGARTEN by Miriam Fields-Babineau. I’ve ordered some on Amazon for $3 to $5. It is very basic and explains how to begin training your puppy AS SOON AS IT GETS home. Puppy attention spans are about 3-5 minutes so that’s all the time you work with them. This is the time to make training fun with lots of little treats and praise. Your training can be as simple as saying your puppy’s name and WATCH ME and having them look at you…eye contact results in happy praise and a treat. Teaching them to look at you is BIG and will pay big dividends in the future. But, make your training times short.
Yesterday Mark and I took Conrad to Aksarben Senior Living for a pet therapy visit. We told them we were having puppies and I made a slide show of many of the pictures. Residents, staff, and visitors all stopped to see pictures of YOUR puppies. Lots of oohs and awes!!
For those of you wanting to know about supplies and such, I took a picture of all the puppy things stacked on Pippa and Emma’s kennels. In case we have to take a puppy to the vet, we have our green tote available. There is a scale for weighing. Also an empty clothes basket to hold the puppies while I clean the whelping box and a fan to dry the floor of the whelping box. There is a small box that has bottles just in case we need them. It also contains a thermometer to take temperatures, a kit of scissors and things for birth, a baby bulb to suck fluid from their nose and mouth, and ribbons for identification. On top of everything is a leash as the dogs don’t have collars on.
We are now watching Emma and have brought her to the house. Emma is having 6 puppies and her due date is Sunday. Katie is still in the mudroom but at the first sign of Emma being in labor, she and puppies will get moved to the nursery at the dog barn. Emma will take over the whelping box and room after we disinfect everything.
I’m back and hopefully with pictures.
Look at Green Male’s pigment on his pads coming. The color variances are very prominent. Orange Male is ready to stand on all fours. They are all semi-walking around.
I will get more pictures taken.
A bit about the pictures I can’t seem to upload. I have been taking pictures with my phone. They evidently are too large to load into website so I’m cropping them. Many will then upload – at least until yesterday. I have the battery charging in the camera and will get some pictures taken and posted.
Yesterday I told you about Katie cleaning her puppies and her whelping pad. The whelping box is spotless. What I forgot to mention is that this behavior will last until I start feeding them puppy food. At that point in time, Katie will be weaning the puppies and I am the official cleaner-uper. Katie will probably start weaning her puppies when they get teeth. At that same time, the puppies are big enough that they can drain her in just a couple of minutes.
The puppies are 1 week old today. They have changed considerably. They are all gaining weight. They are all starting to stand on all four legs. They are all scooting to mom, away from mom, etc.
Today they received new colored ribbons. They grow so fast that we have to put bigger ribbons on them frequently. They had their toe nails trimmed. They all have been imprinted or desensitized. I know I have relaxed them when they pee on my hand…8 out of 8 = 100% This would be #2 in the care of the puppies.
Here is what to expect this week:
For about the next 3 weeks, Katie stimulates the puppies to poo and pee and, not to gross you out, she eats it. She also cleans up the carpet where the puppies have poo-ed or peed on their own. We purchased whelping pads that are made for all the wear and tear of whelping. We change them daily and machine wash and dry them to be used again.
In case you are wondering about the PVC pipe that is around the inside of the whelping box, that is called a pig rail. The pig rail is a safety feature for the puppies. If they are behind the momma when she lays down, they would be crushed. The pig rail is set about 3″ above the floor and is just big enough for the puppies to avoid being crushed.
It is very important to keep the puppies warm. They have no way to regulate their temperatures until about 3 weeks of age. We also drape a cover over the whelping box to block the puppies from drafts when we open the door to let Katie in and out. There also is an infrared heater that hangs over about 1/3 of the whelping box. The puppies will gather under it when they are cold. We have a panel that blocks the doorway from the kitchen to the mudroom. We try to keep the temperature in the room about 75 degrees and the whelping box is about 78 degrees.
Enjoy the pictures…more tomorrow
I just noticed the black pigment is coming into the noses and paws of the puppies. If you look close at the earlier pictures, there is no pigment. Before they go home, their noses and paws will be jet black. They will probably have their ‘mascara’ on too.
All is well in the whelping box. Katie is starting to lay on the outside of the whelping box with a constant eye on the puppies. She is spending a bit more time outside for potty breaks too. When I clean the whelping box, I put her in the kitchen with a gate between us. She keeps an eagle eye on me and just what I’m doing with her puppies.
All eight of the puppies have been offered. I’m very happy for those who are receiving puppies but very sad that there weren’t enough puppies to go around. No matter how many litters of puppies we have, we sincerely regret not having enough puppies.
Today was an early day for all of us. We were at the vet for our 9:00 visit at 8:40. Gave me more time to chat and catchup. We go to Animal Clinic Suburban in Omaha, NE. Dr. Melody Kaliff is our primary care taker but we have seen Dr. Nelson when Dr. Kaliff is unavailable. Their staff is excellent with our dogs and Mark and me. There is never a stupid question or an assumption that we should have known what we just asked. I hope you in the Omaha metro will consider this office. Our puppies are referred to as ‘the O’Connor puppies’ which is quite a compliment for us.
We had a wonderful visit! Took our weight records with us and Dr. Kaliff thought the weight gains were good. She looked for cleft palettes = none; umbilical hernias = none; and other things she would see that we might miss. Plus she took off their dew claws.
She gave Katie an exam and found nothing to worry about. I have been feeding Katie four times a day and she said I can feed her twice a day.
Enjoy the pictures of the puppies in a tote…
Today has been a sleepy day for Mark and me. The weekend caught up for us humans. As I watch Katie, she is energized cleaning puppies, running outside to potty, and relentlessly looking for a place to move her puppies outside. She looks under the deck. There is a little opening she is very interested in. I keep telling her it’s not big enough and she shouldn’t even try. We closed up a part of the yard that has lots of sand which I caught her digging in. I don’t think she has thought out her plan. There are 8 puppies in the house and I’d like to know how she plans to sneak them all out!!
The puppies and Katie are doing well. The puppies are gaining, sleeping, and scooting around. Sometimes they lay under the heater in the whelping box, other times by mom, and sometimes in a dog pile.
The puppies and Katie go to the vet tomorrow. The puppies will have their first exam and dew claws removed. Katie will get checked over also.
I’ve taken some new pictures…enjoy
All the puppies have been weighed and have a collar now. The boys are GREEN, RED, and ORANGE. The girls are Dk BLUE, LAVENDAR, PINK, BROWN, and Lt BLUE. Their weights ranged from 12 ounces to 17 ounces. They are all very well proportioned puppies so they weight difference isn’t very noticeable at a glance. They ALL have huge heads. Their colors range from very light to a medium/carmel color.
Today we will be cleaning the whelping box, put the whelping supplies away for Emma, put away the newly washed rags for Emma, and weigh the puppies twice today. If we find any of the puppies are losing more than they should be, we have puppy milk ready.
I found this information as I was reading up on delivering puppies:
Pictures taken this morning…
Katie had her puppies late last night and into this morning. We are saying she had the puppies on her due date since we have to chose one date.
Katie has 8 beautiful yellow puppies, 4 girls and 4 boys. They are big puppies ranging from light yellow to medium yellow. The first puppy was born at 9:35 pm last night and the last puppy was born this morning at 6:45 am.
I’ve had 2 hours of sleep and Mark has just laid down for a while. It’s so nice outside he hates to miss the day.
All is well in the whelping box. The puppies are sleeping under the overhead heater and Katie is laying close to them.
With this being Katie’s first litter, she was very anxious. She didn’t want to stay in the whelping box. I think she had a great place outside picked out for their birth! We were on our knees outside the whelping box. Before I knew what was happening, Katie came over and put her head on my shoulder and waited out a BIG contraction.
We will weigh and put ribbons on each puppy later today. Right now our intent is to let Katie get to know her puppies. The room has the shades drawn, the whelping box has a big blanket thrown over it to keep the puppy area extra warm because the puppies cannot regulate their temperature.
I’m starting Katie’s blog to share with you what we are seeing as Katie gets closer to her due date of April 23.
We had an x-ray taken of Katie’s abdomen to determine if she was pregnant and to count puppies.
The reproductive anatomy of the dog is quite different than us humans. They have a right horn and a left horn. Visualize a turkey or chicken wishbone being held by the stem. The stem is the birth canal and the two bones are the horns. The photo shows the left horn and there are 5 puppies in it. The right horn is partially covered by stool but there are 3 puppies that can be seen.
Dr. Kaliff explained the horns typically have the same number of puppies plus or minus one. This means we are having 9-11 puppies.
I don’t know if the picture is clear enough to see the puppies but they are there! Look close along her tummy for skulls and spines.
We are limiting Katie’s running and playing by having her ‘rest’ for a couple hours in the afternoon. She gets an extra cup of puppy food and then she rests until supper. Morning and evening meals have also been increased to meet the demands of growing puppies.
Katie has been switched from large breed adult dog food to large breed puppy food. This switch gives Katie more nutrients to feed all the puppies before and after birth.
4-13-2017 10 days to puppies
Katie is getting bigger everyday! Here are two pictures. One was taken on April 3 and one is from yesterday.
4-16-2017 7 days to puppies
Katie continues to get larger. Two weeks ago we saw a hint of Katie being pregnant. Today Katie looks very pregnant. She is playing less, laying down more, and wants in the building which is cool. We have set up the ‘delivery suite’ in the mudroom. The 4×4 whelping box was dusted off from a year ago and disinfected. The whelping pads were washed and bagged after the last litter, soon to be used. All the scissors and other utensils are clean but will be disinfected in a few days. I have lots of rags ready. We’ve decided to leave Pippa at the house but take Maggie up to the dog building. Maggie can just about clear the gate between the mudroom and the kitchen. Don’t think Katie will want to share her puppies at least until they get teeth!
4-19-2017 4 days to puppies
Katie’s body is preparing for the delivery of her babies. I’m seeing a difference in how low her belly is. The puppies are getting into position creating a more ‘trim middle’.
Yesterday Katie was quiet and rested most of the day. She is still eating and her temp has not dropped.
She is wanting to go outside to poop and pee but mostly pee. The bladder is getting squeezed by the puppies. While she is outside, she is checking out every piece of the yard as a possible location ‘to have her puppies’. We have had dogs have puppies outside on potty breaks so one has to be very careful after dark.
April 20, 2017 3 days to puppies (or less)
For the past few days I have thought ‘this is it’ or ‘I think that was a contraction’ only to find Katie still with puppies on this morning. Last night I was up every couple of hours checking on Katie but I think she thinks I’m her official door opener. Every time I get up, I let her outside. I have to tell those of you who sleeping last night, that it was a beautiful, crisp spring night.
And I keep taking her temperature like I don’t have eyes to see how pregnant she is and she will deliver her puppies when she is darn ready to. She hasn’t missed a meal either. She is eating a bit slower but pregnancy and absolutely no room left in her abdomen isn’t stopping her from eating!
This morning I’ve let Katie out 5 times to potty and it is only 11:00 am. The temp is going down and she is resting or rather sleeping as I’m hearing deep snoring from the delivery suite.
This is an odd picture of Katie but it shows her getting the puppies in place for birth. She is pushing her rear up against one wall and her back on the other. Some times she sits on her tummy and some times she lays on one side and then the other. Then she will stand up and stretch. Again, all of this is getting the puppies in position.
I think this is it and I’m sure I saw a contraction!!!!